"To move the work is to destroy the work." ~ Richard Serra

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Tyga, Rap, & Sartre

I was thinking about situation & music today, specifically I was listening to Tyga's song "Cali Love" off his album "Outraged and Underaged." The song just kinda reminded me of a modern version of Sartre's preface in his "Situations." Of course, it's a completely different time period and we seldom keep lookout for the communist overthrow in our daily lives (of course it may be different in China and North Korea), but someone like Tyga expresses so much "situation" in his music. Tyga, a Compton native, knows more than most do about the American condition (let us use that as a variable for situation); the poor, crime-infested, violence-ridden, and "high culture" devoid lives of the Americans in places like Compton, Detroit, (parts of) Harlem, and whatnot. In his music you'll find not much else than the likes of his specific situation, at least in terms of content. Similarly, we can recall that Sartre so obviously pointed out that censored work is incomplete (duh), but it is truly unbelievable that a disparity in culture can have such vast differences in art; a California slum, opposed to a communist run group is unable to access so many amenities to even create art, yet somehow produces soulful art, whereas a communist culture that Sartre speaks of will never reach that level.
Rap is, conceptually, one of the most situation based art forms that exists today. Almost every song is about movement from poor situations to better situations. It's almost impossible to ignore. Without rap, there would be very little music that would rely so heavily on situation for its content.
Of course there are orchestra performances that are situation based and such, but that isn't really enough to go around. It is so uncommon and most people don't actually have any involvement or knowledge of those, at least not the way they do with hip hop and rap.

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